William (Scott) Piper III, M.D. (in photo), was awarded the Cruising Club of America’s (CCA) 2008 Blue Water Medal at the club’s awards dinner in New York on January 13, 2009. CCA Commodore Ross Sherbrooke presented the honors. The award recognizes Piper’s 12 years of voyaging aboard two boats, a J/40, Pipe Dream VI and a 52-foot J/160, Pipe Dream IX, aboard which he logged a total of 180,000 miles. Piper was interviewed in the 2003 edition of Ocean Voyager.
Piper, 69, is retired a orthopedic surgeon. Voyaging to remote parts of the globe he generously offered his medical skills when he found those in need. Piper has crossed the Atlantic eight times, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans four times each. He has logged roundings of Cape Horn, the Cape of Good Hope and Australia’s Cape Leeuwin. His yacht racing accomplishments include the Newport Bermuda Race (double-handed), the Transpac and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
The club also awarded its Rod Stephens Trophy for Outstanding Seamanship to Susanne Huber-Curphey and Tony Curphey for their joint seamanship. The couple were sailing solo in their own boats, Susanne in So Long, and Tony in Galenaia, when Galenaia’s rudder and skeg broke. So Long sailed back 150 miles and took Galenaia in tow for eight days and 650 miles arriving safely at Port Nelson, South Island, New Zealand.
The club’s Far Horizons Award went to John H. Harries and Phyllis Nelson Nickel for their passages in Morgan’s Cloud, a 56-foot custom McCurdy cutter. Harries and Nickel have logged over 100,000 miles since 1996. Morgan’s Cloud has circumnavigated Newfoundland twice, cruised Labrador and voyaged to Greenland, Iceland, England and the North coast of Norway. In the fall of 2008 they departed Maine for the Bahamas and plan to return to Greenland in 2009.